Strung together like pearls on an heirloom necklace, and ensconced by crystal clear, jewel-toned waters, the Maldives is the crown jewel when it comes to honeymoon destinations. It’s home to nearly 2000 islands that each provide a flawless base for either adventuring around the atolls or sneaking away for a romantic sunset viewing on a private island or chartered catamaran.
It’s no question that the Maldives remains unparalleled for most couples seeking romance; but when it comes to ease of access, the decision to go often winds up a bit more up in the air. The flight to the Maldives averages out to around 20+ hours from most U.S. cities, often including a short stopover in Dubai or another midway airport, meaning the first night most newlyweds will spend together will be buckled in to an upholstered airline seat.
Arriving to your island paradise with groggy-eyes and a severe case of jet lag not your idea of an ideal honeymoon? Consider honeymoon hopping!
Honeymoon hopping (i.e., not spending all your vacation days in one location), is a great way to break up long travel days, and the short stopover in Dubai with Emirates airlines is the perfect chance to create your own combination honeymoon with the help of Jumeirah Resorts, where you can sink your toes in the sands of Dubai before dipping into the waters of the Maldives.
Start with a stay at the Jumeirah Al Qasr at the Madinat Jumeirah Resort to keep the grandeur from the wedding day flowing seamlessly into the honeymoon. The Al Qasr is Arabic for “the palace,” and this hotel lives up to its royal name in every detail. The hotel features 294 rooms and suites that are decked with Arabian luxuries like Amouage bath products and ornate wooden wardrobes. Guests have access to the entire Madinat Jumeirah Resort, which includes more than 50 restaurants and bars, an award-winning spa and fitness center, and a traditional souk onsite that offers an authentic Dubai shopping experience.
Spend one day above the city with a visit to the Burj Khalifa to experience a day inside the tallest building in the world before heading to dinner inside the most luxurious hotel in the world at the Burj Al Arab’s Al Muntaha restaurant on the 27thfloor, and spend another day on sea level by booking a VIP cabana at the Burj Al Arab’s new Terrace before heading to one of Dubai’s most exclusive waterfront restaurants Pierchic to select from a contemporary menu of fresh seafood and exquisite wines.
A few nights at Al Qasr will be all you need to reenergize yourself for the next part of your journey. A four hour flight from Dubai to Male (the capital city of the Maldives) will have you swapping views of skyscrapers for sandy islands in no time, where a luxurious motorized catamaran waits to transport you to Jumeirah’s private island. Bolifushi Island is home to the Jumeirah Vittaveli resort. Even in a country made up of more than 26 atolls with more than 105 resorts, the Jumeirah Vittaveli stands out with its opulent offerings.
The resort is made up of 89 villas and suites, ranging from over the ocean suites and beachfront villas to stand alone ocean suites only accessible by a private boat.
Every room features either its own private swimming pool or direct access to the beach or lagoon, and bicycles for getting around the petite island. The resort is home to one of the most best house reefs in the South Male Atoll, making it possible to hop into the water from your private villa and immediately be surrounded by colorful reef fish and marine life, but there are five ship wreck dive sites within a short boat ride from the island for any divers looking to go a bit deeper.
The Jumeirah Vittaveli’s sunrise yoga classes are the perfect way to wake up refreshed for a day spent snorkeling, fishing, or motoring around the island, and the Talise Spa offers a menu full of relaxing spa treatments as well as a chance to learn how to make your own coconut oil using coconuts found on the island.
Honeymoon packages are available that include Champagne breakfasts in bed and romantic bath experiences in your private villa, but the resort staff is eager to make any dream honeymoon experience a reality, from pre-dinner cocktails served in the resort’s private semi-submarine to a romantic aqua dinner served in (yes in!) the main pool. Don’t leave without booking a dinner at the celebrated Indian restaurant Swarna, which was recently named the “Best Indian Cuisine in Asia.”
For more information on honeymoon hopping with Jumeirah, visit www.jumeirah.com.
Photos by @KristyAlpert
Kristy Alpert is a freelance travel and lifestyle journalist on the hunt for the obscure and untold stories around the world. Her passion for savoring the local flavor of a destination has led to her unearthing the ancient bread baking secrets on Muhu Island in Estonia to earning her registered yoga teacher (RYT200) certification in Bali. Kristy has won numerous international awards for her writing, and has bylines in Food & Wine, Esquire, Men’s Health, AFAR, Fodors, American Way, World Bride, Premier Traveler, and more. www.kristyalpert.com